Thoughts on being a SAHM

Way back when I first met Hubster, and we started dating, I made the statement that I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Looking back now, I realize that I pretty much felt I was going to college to please my parents, society, and feminists everywhere. I basically figured I would get a degree and a job until I found a man, got married and had kids. I know, how very “unenlightened” of me. But from a young age I saw a great value in being a mom who was around!

This week my very dear friend Suzy and her husband Professor bought a house. Suzy and professor are the same age as Hubster and me. They got married the same year as us. They had a clear life plan. They stuck to it, going to college for a normal amount of years, graduating on time, obtaining jobs and saving up until they started their family, and now have two dazzling kids. Suzy is a SAHM now, but because per-kids they had both worked, they were able to pay off all their debt (including student loans) before buying their home. All before they were 30.

If left to my own devices I can’t help but wonder if we would be further along in our life. If we would be buying a home, instead if renting. If our debt would be paid off. Because here’s the thing: I was on the path. From high school I went to college. My first year is when Hubster, Suzy, Professor and I all met. We then transferred to different colleges, but we were on “the path”. Keeping in mind I was getting a degree… Well, mainly for fun. Because that’s what I was “supposed” to do. I was basically killing time until the whole married-and-babies thing happened. So what was I getting a degree in? Biblical studies. Until I changed majors to Theology. Until I realized that with Hubster pursuing a career as a firefighter I might actually need a job and career and what in the world would I do with a degree in theology??? So I took a year off. Floundering. Trying to figure out “what I wanted to do”. When the truth was that what I wanted could not be gained from a degree. But to say “I want to be a mom” was offensive to most people, like as if declaring I wanted to be a stripper. Because desiring to be a stay at home mom must mean I wasn’t very intelligent or intellectual. I was lazy and an unproductive member of society.

Finally I decided to go back to school to be a vet tech. And the truth is I fell in love with the field. So I had a new plan: vet tech/mom! But then we hit infertility. And a miscarriage. The miscarriage coming right as I was finishing my degree. So I made several highly emotional decisions in an attempt to work through the loss. Decisions that set my career back.

At the end of the day, there has never been a solid chunk of time where both Hubster and I have been working. One was always in school, or dealing with some medical issue, or just unable to find work in a struggling economy.

I know there are other reasons we aren’t on a debtless-home buying place of course. Things that were completely outside my control. My vehicle dieing, and having to take on a car payment a month into our married life. (That we just recently finally paid off! Woot!) The next month Hubster had a seizure at work, and was subsequently out of work with some pretty big medical bills. You know, stuff like that…

But maybe if I hadn’t floundered… Maybe if I could have embraced my SAHM desires, we wouldn’t have my student loan debts. I could have spent those years of I was in school focusing on learning better budgeting skills. Better housekeeping skills. Maybe we’d have a little less debt and a little more life skills.

Of course, can’t forget that becoming a mom (working, home, or other) wasn’t as quick and easy as we had hoped. So the real truth is that whether I had gone to school or not, our picture probably wouldn’t look that different. And I know I shouldn’t compare my life to my friends… The grass always looks greener. But I still have regret for money and time wasted. I lived the vet field, but I’m really glad to be home. To watch my daughter grow and change and learn. I’m even entertaining thoughts about homeschooling! (More on that later…)

I guess what I’m trying to say is I love being a mom. I’m so thankful I tried working (so I can’t wonder “what if?”) but even more thankful that now I’m home. I wish it hasn’t taken me so long to get here. But Im so grateful to finally be here.

Advertisements

3 responses to this post.

  1. I recently had a conversation like this with my mom. She’s very women’s lib, don’t depend on a man, blah blah blah and I asked her if she disappointed in me for choosing to be a mom and depend on a man. She said “Oh hell no! It’s hardest job in the world! I couldn’t do it.” meaning that’s why she was a working mom. And she added “But you have your degree. Yes, you’re relying on your husband for a paycheck, but because that’s a family choice, not because you’re trapped.”

    In university, a bunch of us were out at the bar with one of our professors and he asked us what we wanted to do with our lives. As everyone was stating their careers, I said “I’m going to be a mom. Careerwise, I don’t really know what I’m going to be, but whatever future I picture for myself, the mom part is always there. So apparently I’m going to be a mom.”

    Reply

  2. I guess that was always my moms thing to “don’t depend on a man, have a back up plan”. I guess it is nice to know that if something happened, if Hubster unexpectedly was paralized or died and it was just me and Seedling, I do have a degree and a career to go back to.

    I just hate thinking that way though.

    Reply

  3. I went to college, completely just to have a back up “just in case” type of thing. But I’ve always known that I wanted to be a SAHM. I find more value in it than in any other thing to which I could have dedicated my life. My children are my life, my family, my husband. They are my world. It’s so strange to me that some people think poorly of SAHMs, but I guess it doesn’t bother me too much. The opinions of strangers mean nothing compared to the smiles of my children.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: